Exeter and District Kidney Patient Association history
The main aims are to raise finds for equipment to benefit both patients and medical staff and to give support (sometimes much needed) to new and old patients and their families. Not only with practical help but also with opportunities for patients to get together socially: this may be in the form of a weekend break, a coach trip or other pleasure activities.
Members of the Association consist of kidney patients who are under the care of the Kidney Unit at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford). This includes those patients receiving dialysis at our satellite units – Taunton, Yeovil, South Molton and Newton Abbot; pre-dialysis patients and transplant patients.
When the kidney unit as we now know it, Sid Ward, was first opened, the Association made a large donation towards getting it established. In 2000, it contributed £20,000 towards the enlargement of the unit from nine stations to 15 stations.
At that time it also replaced all the television sets, 25 in all, and provided video and DVD links. Likewise, the satellite units have benefited from our support. Reclining chairs,kidney machines, trolley telephones, blood pressure cuffs, books, staff training etc. are some of the ways we spend our money. In recent years, with the National Health cut backs we have been asked to provide and support the unit more.
Another way in which we support patients is that we make available to the social welfare benefits officer a yearly grant. It varies from year to year, from £3,000 to £5,000. This is to help patients with financial problems which have arisen because of their illness. We also employ the benefit officer for two half days a week. He uses the time to advise patients what they are entitled to claim and helps with the form filling.
The Association’s funds are controlled by an elected committee, who are elected at the Annual General Meeting.
Funding is raised throughout the year by patients themselves, relatives and friends through the organising of events such as coffee mornings, jumble sales, bingo, annual draw, donations in lieu of flowers, donations from wills. Added to this are the numerous kind donations from the general public and organisatoins who peldge their help.
If you would like to help in any way or to receive a copy of our newsletter, published 3 – 4 times a year, or to have further information about the Association, please contact us.